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Old 05-18-2014, 03:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Canadian Stock Class Pistol Review! East vs West! AV R7 and the DSP V2!

Hey MCB'ers! Here's the review and VS thread that absolutely no one was asking for. I couldn't find any vs threads about them before, so I figured, why not buy both and do it myself?

First off, a little history on both...(for those of you who don't know)


Avratech's Retro 7
A few years back, the fine people at Avratech decided to pay homage to the first paintball marker ever used: The Nelspot 007. With a few(a lot) of modifications, they made one of the best stock class pistols on the market. I'm sure you can find all of these features on another page here, so I won't get in to too much detail! At this time, I'm not totally sure how many are out there, but I believe that number is anywhere from 150-300(please correct me here!) The Retro 7 reviewed here is a gen 1, # FOUR.

Dukie's DSP
Dukie, who I'm sure everyone on here knows, made his version of a slide, and later introduced the in-grip 12g changer frame as well. I believe there are only about 20 or so out there, and I was lucky enough to snag a frame, and then sourced a V2 slide kit from Dukie himself. Originally, the previous owners did some weird things to it, but Dukie helped me out and set it out straight. The one reviewed today does not have a serial number as it was pieced together after the fact.

Initial Impressions


Retro 7:
Sleek and tight. Much smaller than the DSP, and feels quite a bit lighter as well. I love the lines on this marker, and it just feels nice. I'm not a huge fan of the pump handle so I always run it without one, and the bolt action is just fun. I'm on the list for a slide kit so I'm extremely excited for that, but until then, it's pure bolt action for me. I'd personally love to add white panel grips of some sort on here.

DSP:
Big. Heavy. Powerful feeling. It's a hefty gun but feels solid. The slide is all aluminum. I ordered a black one, and I believe they only come in raw or dust black. I opted for the dust black option, but I feel that I should've gotten it raw as I want to get it anodized now. I'm not the biggest fan of the feel of dust finishes, but it's an extremely nice piece. All gold DSP? Sounds good to me.

I would have to say it's a tie. It's like comparing a Ruger to a Desert Eagle in terms of looks. They're different. Both have their pros and cons in terms of looks, and it'd be hard to choose between the two. However, if one were to come out with say, a slam changer then I'd say that one wins all the moneyz. I'm not a huge fan of the knobs sticking out at the bottom, though I understand that with the designs, it's kind of impossible not to have something like that. The R7 is much lighter and smaller, but the DSP just feels powerful.

PERFORMANCE
Both are nelson-based pumps with at least mostly CCI internals. The retro uses a different bolt, and the DSP is essentially a phantom in an awesome body kit. For that reason, I won't be stating an efficiency test, as really, with the proper tuning, I'm sure both could easily be getting 30-40 useable shots if not more.

TRIGGER
As far as triggers go, the DSP uses a true slider and the R7 uses a hinge. The gen 1 retro's have very little surface area, so I added a trigger shoe. I'm currently using a silver trigger shoe, so pearly grips would be great if anyone has any! Or even better, white rubber hogues if they exist...
The DSP was designed to be used with a trigger shoe, so it's obviously a bit on the thin side. I've put one on there and it feels great.
The retro 7 with it's hinge I'd say actually feels a bit better than the DSP's slide. The DSP's pull is a bit stiff, though really, it's all preference. I like my triggers a bit softer, that's all.

COMFORT
I like the design of the retro, having the valve attach to the grip frame from the top instead of the bottom as with phantoms. That extra bit of room is very nice to have. The DSP uses the normal phantom style with a thumbscrew in the back and front, but with the curves of the frame, it actually makes it feel fine. Comparing the two grip frames, they feel totally different. Both accept 45 panels and grips, but they're just different. They point totally differently(at least to me) and both feel nice, and the paint goes where I want it to go. I have hogue palmswells on the Retro, and basic hogue panels on the DSP. As far as comfort, I feel that the DSP actually wins in the comfort factor. It's slightly bigger and rounder, and fits my large hands better. The Retro is great, but the gen 1's are a bit less rounded I hear from the current generations. The weight however is a bit of a factor. My wrist was getting pretty tired carrying it around, as it is quite front heavy(the DSP). The Retro is a lot more balanced I feel, and it's easier to point with one hand because of it. Blame me and my girlish wrists!

12G CHANGER
So both have in grip 12g changers. The DSP uses the tried and tested CCI bucket changer, which everyone knows and loves. The Retro uses a knob that punctures the 12g's quite easily. They are known to loosen up after a couple tubes or so and start to vent a bit of the 12g, so that's a bit annoying. Personally, I find that threading the knob in to the grip frame in the heat of a battle a bit tricky sometimes with the adrenaline pumping through your veins. With Josh's new mag changer, the 12g loosening problem shouldn't exist anymore!
The DSP, using the phantom changer, works great and threads easily. I'm sure almost everyone here has owned one of these changer, so I don't need to go in to that much detail. However, I accidentally undid the changer slightly while changing my grip on the marker in game. The previous owner of the DSP put in the wrong screws for the grip frame and scratched up the changer as well, which is quite unsightly. Obviously user error here for both, but it's something that you should be wary of when playing.
With these changers, I'd say the DSP wins. However, it may be a different story when the mag changers for the R7's come out! Again though, if one of you guys come out with a slam changer, I will kiss your feet.

FEEDS
Unfortunately, I feel that this is the worst part on both guns. They both use relatively heavy single piece feeds that extend to the front of the marker, and it's attached with a single screw. There is definite body wobble in both(not that you notice in game), but with my OCD, it does bother me a bit. I doubt that it will become an issue on either one, but it's just a bit annoying.
The DSP uses a phantom feedgate, which is awesome. Balls go in and don't come out. The feed looks great and complements the rest of the marker perfectly.
The Retro 7 uses friction to keep a 10 round inside. I love the way it works and it looks super cool, but it relies heavily on the fit of the tube and the marker. Thankfully most of my tubes fit, but the Empire tubes with speed lids don't. I was forced to one ball it one day because of that! (should've checked the fit at home and brought more tubes!)
Overall, both look great, but the bit of wobble is a bit of a pain. Not sure how anyone would be able to fix it to be honest, so it's ultimately something that I'll just accept!

MISC
I really enjoy being able to play bolt action on the Retro 7. It feels different from pump(obviously) and I just like it more. The gripe I have about the pump handle on the R7 is that there is no return spring/mechanism of any kind. You can't lock the bolt or anything, so when you pump it with the handle, you have to hold the handle forward to shoot. Therefore, you can't "one hand" the R7 with the pump handle on it, which kind of defeats the purpose of playing pistol sometimes. The bolt action is very smooth and locks well. I do wish that the hole for the bolt action had the edge taken off a bit; I cut my finger the first day of play due to the sharp edge(I don't wear gloves).

The DSP doesn't have this problem, as it uses a standard Phantom return spring. Pump stroke on it feels sturdy if not a bit rough, but nothing to complain about. The pump handle is very "grippy", and it just feels solid in general. A huge improvement over a stock phantom pump, and the aesthetics are amazing.

OVERALL
So, all things considered, these are incredible. By far some of the best markers I've shot to this day, and I'm really impressed with the build quality of both. I think we can safely say that Canadian products are awesome, whether they're from the east coast or west coast. I don't think I can choose between one or the other, so I very well may be keeping both. I can't say that one definitely wins over the other, so if you were deciding between the two? Get both and worry about the money later

Feel free to share your comments etc! Or correct me if I'm wrong on any of these points. I'd be happy to discuss it with you! I figure when the slides come out for the R7, I'll have to do another review.
Cheers!
Tyler
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Old 05-18-2014, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I used aluminum tape on the valve body where it inserts into the Retro 7 main body.
Removed the wiggle.

I have both of these guns myself and they both have their merits. I would compare the air transfer system on the R7 and DSP. The DSP does not have an expansion area for Co2 whereas the R7 has a milled in air transfer tube and "magic nipple" discouraging liquid from entering the valve. I have found that the R7 has better consistency during rapid shooting as a result. It also does not suffer from an initial "snowy" first shot after airing up.

Nice review and both terrific guns.

I also own a Redux. It is worth noting that I consider both of these guns to be on par with the Redux for quality and enjoyability. For pure performance I like the R7 best, but the Redux and DSP have that certain Je ne sais quoi.
The DSP and R7 do not suffer from the feed issues that the Redux has. The Redux requires a bit more attention in game to ensure that balls feed properly.

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Old 05-19-2014, 03:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That's an excellent point, I forgot about that. Another thing I'd like to note is that I believe Josh is incorporating a phantom feed in the slide kit, so that would make it the same as the DSP in the factor. The wiggle seems to be the top tube rather than the body for mine, so it's just a bit irritating. Not a huge deal though.

I'd actually have to agree that with the lighter weight and better balance make the R7 better a better choice performance wise. I'd love to own a Redux or a Duck, but there is no chance that I'll be able to afford one any time soon. Stock class pistol bug has got me pretty bad.

Overall:

R7 Pros
Lighter
More Balanced
More consistent due to "magic nipple"
Bolt Action option(I exclusively play bolt action with it!)
Better trigger(opinion)

R7 Cons
12g knob backing out(remedied with new changer)
Tubes rely heavily on fit(will be remedied with slide kit)
Sharp edges on bolt action area
Not made anymore!

DSP Pros
Solid
Comfier frame(preference)
More reliable 12g changer
Phantom feedgate

DSP Cons
Stiff trigger(preference)
Front heavy!
No more runs that I know of!
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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good comparison
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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mmmmmm Retro 7
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Few details to clear up:

Retros are still being made, though I'm holding off new sales while I get back on track with my private operation. Sales will resume later this year.

Number of Retros in the wild is less than 100. There is ten first gen, 40 second gen, and a couple dozen third gens rolling out. Total production for third gen will be 100 guns, for a grand total of 150 Retro 7s.

Second and third gen Retros have a thick trigger, similar thickness to a CCM frame. Third gen Retros have a detent in the breech to prevent double feeds, and various other tweaks.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great review, shame the retros aren't being made anymore, I'd love to buy one and give it a try to see how it compares to my DSP.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApoC_101 View Post
Few details to clear up:

Retros are still being made, though I'm holding off new sales while I get back on track with my private operation. Sales will resume later this year.

Number of Retros in the wild is less than 100. There is ten first gen, 40 second gen, and a couple dozen third gens rolling out. Total production for third gen will be 100 guns, for a grand total of 150 Retro 7s.

Second and third gen Retros have a thick trigger, similar thickness to a CCM frame. Third gen Retros have a detent in the breech to prevent double feeds, and various other tweaks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiny View Post
Great review, shame the retros aren't being made anymore, I'd love to buy one and give it a try to see how it compares to my DSP.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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